Experimenting wtih fermented feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by tmarsh83, Oct 24, 2016.

  1. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In the last week I started giving fermented feed a try. So far, i'm really happy with how the birds are taking to it, and how the process is working.

    I do have a question about feeding it though.

    How do you strain the water off, or scoop the feed to reduce the water that goes with it?

    I've tried using a ladel, and that gives you a couple good scoops, but after that, it just churns it up so much that you end up with it being really watery.

    I'm sure there's an answer, I'm just too dim to figure it out.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Once the ferment is going good, I just add a little feed a handful at a time till the new feed soaks up the excess water. I like to feed it at about the consistency of oatmeal.
    Too watery and some of the probiotics and possibly some of the vitamins and amino acids drain off when the water pours off the feeding trough.
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    FF naturally releases water from the feed as it ages, and it presents one of the most perplexing problems I've had to deal with regarding fermenting my feed. At first I used two buckets, the inner one containing the feed having holes drilled into the sides and bottom. I placed this inside an intact bucket to catch the liquid draining from the inner bucket containing the FF.

    But the feed eventually would become too dry, and I'd end up having to mix the drained liquid back into the mixture. Way too much work and hassle.

    So now when my ferment becomes too soggy, I add enough dry feed to it to absorb the excess liquid and stir it in thoroughly. I try to do this when the mixture will have six to twelve hours to ferment the newly added dry crumbles. This method is easy, quick, and seems to keep the FF at a consistency I and the chickens prefer.

    I also keep two buckets going so I'm able to feed out a given batch before it goes all flat and wet on me. Your problem may be due in large part to having too much to feed out before the ferment passes its peak, thereby losing valuable nutrients. Try to gauge your amounts to feed out within two days, starting the second bucket when you have one days worth left in the first.
     
  4. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm just trying to keep enough water in the bucket to keep the feed sealed off from air, but I like your addition of additional dry before feeding it.

    I can pour the excess off, without wasting much of the feed, into my compost pile, then add some more dry to soak up the excess liquid the night before I plan to feed it.

    I think that is what I will try anyway. That will give it roughly ten hours to absorb the bulk of the liquid but not long enough for it to dry out or mold.

    I have two buckets going as well, and I think I will continue to use two buckets for the "deep water" fermentation, then transfer to smaller bucket that I have for the dry down.

    That should work. Thank you.
     
  5. balloonflower

    balloonflower Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Personally, I choose to do multiple small batches, which works for me. I have seven hens, and they eat about a quart of ff each day. So I just use 3-4 little 2qt buckets, fermenting a little on the wet side, then adding crumbles to thicken.

    When I did try a larger bucket, I was using a clean cat litter scoop to try and drain off excess liquid. But it stressed me out more than it was worth worrying about a large batch going bad, or if it was too far sour, etc.
     
  6. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi. [​IMG]

    Happy to have a new fermenter! [​IMG]

    I started with that whole 1 inch of water on top.... hated it. Way to time consuming. Now I mix loose and add dry just others have said to get my final consistency. Many of my birds in the age group from when I first started fermenting have no chin feathers from it caking a drying then being pulled off by other birds. When I sought the solution it was mix drier. Totally worked.

    I have 2 containers, 1 for feeding the other for fermenting the next batch. Might have to switch to 3 because the ferment isn't going so fast since I moved it outside. And I do 50 # per container. @azygous how can I tell if it has passed it's peak? Or reached it?
     
  7. crescentson

    crescentson Out Of The Brooder

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    I haven't started using FF to any real degree yet, but am interested in getting it going. What type of feed is everyone fermenting? I tried a couple batches of fermented grain,they loved it. But as a new chicken daddy, I don't trust it yet. Gonna do some more research.
     
  8. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Why not pour of your excess into your next batch of ferment? The extra water is NOT required to stop your feed from molding. I have not had mold develop ever without water on top and I stir once daily which doesn't give enough time to mold. Incidentally, sometimes people get a white looking substance on top of the feed. That is yeast growing and is your scoby, should be mixed in and nothing to worry about. [​IMG] All of the cultures you are getting for your ferment... come from the air. So you aren't sealing it off, it's collecting in the water and you are mixing it in. At least that's my understanding. I know it's scary to think about ruining your feed when you first start, but that won't be what happens if you decide to forego the extra layer of water.

    Just remember to keep it simple and make it work for you.
     
  9. balloonflower

    balloonflower Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I get a 20% protein layer feed crumble or pellet from a local mill. It's designed to be able to use 75/25 with scratch, mixins, or free range. So I add some BOSS, some oats or scratch, or I'm just starting with some alfalfa pellets since all green in my yard is gone. They always pick the extras out first, but then gobble the mush.
     
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  10. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Check out the link in my signature line. [​IMG]

    I ferment Purina Flock Raiser. But have fermented many brands and formulas successfully. They vary in smell when fermenting. But other than that you can ferment anything as far as I know. I never had any issues so far and @tmarsh83 I live in the PNW where just about EVERYTHING molds seriously fast. Never a drop in my FF though!
     
    1 person likes this.

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